Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Deval "Good Guy" Patrick vs Kerry "Dirty Bird" Healey

A new poll has come out today giving Deval Patrick his biggest lead in the gubernatorial race in MA. Kerry Healey the republican candidate have made in my view some of the dirtiest political attack ads we have seen in a very long time. One of the ads seems to have a racial undertone in it. The reason that people are saying that it have a racial tone is because of that Mr. Patrick is an african-american. The ad seems to imply that people should be scaried of Patrick the way a woman maybe scaried in a dark parking lot in the middle of the night. Healey camp says that the point of the ad is to saw that Mr. Patrick will be soft on crime.

But I'm happy that the people of Massachusetts are not esponding well the negative ads. You can see the ads for yourself below.

Friday, October 13, 2006

New Doll Test & ME

I heard a news story about the new doll test. They were discussing it and what it means today. If you do not know, the new doll test is the re-doing of the famous doll test from 1954 Brown v. Board Education. The shocking aspect of it is that it basically showed the same results as it did in 1954. The results of the test just yell out the question, have things really changed for Black America? Of course the answer is yes, but something still remains. But what the news story was bringing to light was the lack of outrage from the black community in the America. The news story talked about some the cultural reaction to the original 1954 doll test. In the 60's and 70's we would hear songs about how black is beautiful.

The news story raised a good question for me, why is the black community not outraged about the new doll test. It is an outrage that little black children see the white doll as better, as the good doll. The lack of outrage seems to point to me to the conclusion that black adults on some level agree with their younger counterparts. How good can that be for the psyche of child, to believe that black doll is the "bad" doll and that is the one that they are most like. How can self-loathing enter a person so early in life? Before the age of 5, they have an opinion of what America, their country, values and it is not them.

It seems like some people; believe that self-loathing is part and parcel with the black experience there in the States, but when people speak out against it. They are called crazy,no.. no.. excentric like our friend Bill Cosby. He spoke up about black children accepting less in life. He spoke up about black children as a whole believing that the bar is not as high for them. People were upset that he was speaking out against the black community; they said that he should not be airing out our dirty laundry like that. People were afraid that Cosby will give people who are not black the license to say that. Seemly not worried if what he was saying was true or not. Mr. Cosby was outraged. I believe, rightfully so.

I know that I can attest to my self-loathing. I know I have my own doll test. A couple of years back, I realized that I believe that I could not be the smartest person in the room. The smartest person in a room was generally always white. I will have to talk about my background for a moment. I was raised in a mostly white town in the suburbs on New York City. It was nice town with an excellent school district. I was a bright kid, I believe myself to be a bright guy. But it was always generally been the case that the smartest person in any classroom is a white boy. I was only later in life did I know that I have internalized that. The new doll test suggests that there maybe more negative message that I have internalized because I'm a black male.

Sometimes I wonder it is simply an issue of marketing, or rather self identity. I remember the disconnect I had when I was told I was black. I was young and looked at my crayon set and noted that my skin was more that like the color of brown than black. I most have scratched my head on that for a moment. But I also remember something more recently, I was at beach in Cohasset MA and a little boy (3 to 4 years old) was unable to take his eye off me. The little boy asked his father, "Daddy, what is wrong with that man's skin?" I hear the father reply to his son. A few moments later, I hear the father comment to his son, "it is not nice to stare." I imagine that little boy may have been having a similar disconnect that I had. The reason I'm thinking that it is a marketing issue is because the word black in of in itself is a charged word, even if you remove the the racial overtones. Black is the absence of light. Black, to a little person, is scary, unknown and like your room at night when you beg your parents for a night light. Symbols and label have meaning and because they can carry meaning they have power. Is it truly that surprising that a little child would say that the "black" doll is the bad one. They may, the children, could be intuiting the concept of black at an early age. Maybe people of African descent should think about move way from the concept of black, and think of ourselves as brown. To quote KRS-One.... "I'm not black, I'm not white, I'm not yellow... I'm brown!"